Here is the Amazon info for the new book by Mike Parker Pearson. It's only just out, but already it has attracted one very hostile review. Being of a mischievous disposition, I can't resist adding it onto the end of this post........
We all have to live with hostile reviews. If you venture into print, you can expect all sorts of people with all sorts of agendas to come after you.
Stonehenge: Exploring the Greatest Stone Age MysteryMike Parker Pearson
• Hardcover: 416 pages. Price £25.00
• Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd (7 Jun 2012)
• ISBN-10: 085720730X
• ISBN-13: 978-0857207302
Kindle edition also available
(NB Only published on 7th June -- but there are 5 used copies already available from Amazon.........)
Book DescriptionPublication Date: 7 Jun 2012
Our knowledge about Stonehenge has changed dramatically as a result of the Stonehenge Riverside Project (2003-2009), led by Mike Parker Pearson, and included not only Stonehenge itself but also the nearby great henge enclosure of Durrington Walls. This book is about the people who built Stonehenge and its relationship to the surrounding landscape. The book explores the theory that the people of Durrington Walls built both Stonehenge and Durrington Walls, and that the choice of stone for constructing Stonehenge has a significance so far undiscovered, namely, that stone was used for monuments to the dead. Through years of thorough and extensive work at the site, Parker Pearson and his team unearthed evidence of the Neolithic inhabitants and builders which connected the settlement at Durrington Walls with the henge, and contextualised Stonehenge within the larger site complex, linked by the River Avon, as well as in terms of its relationship with the rest of the British Isles. Parker Pearson's book changes the way that we think about Stonehenge; correcting previously erroneous chronology and dating; filling in gaps in our knowledge about its people and how they lived; identifying a previously unknown type of Neolithic building; discovering Bluestonehenge, a circle of 25 blue stones from western Wales; and confirming what started as a hypothesis - that Stonehenge was a place of the dead - through more than 64 cremation burials unearthed there, which span the monument's use during the third millennium BC. In lively and engaging prose, Parker Pearson brings to life the imposing ancient monument that continues to hold a fascination for everyone.
Review by TW Flowers (who decided to put the knife in pretty quickly, by the look of it.....)
It seems that every day brings a new hypothesis, and every day some other hypothesis gets proved wrong. That is why early archaeologists had the professionalism not to speculate. Sadly those professionals are long gone.
Not so long ago, Professor Wainwright, head of the British Antiquarian Society of London used our televisions in an attempt to brainwash us into believing that Stonehenge was a place of healing similar to Lourdes of France. Wainwrights idea died a death in a matter of a few short months. This latest speculation, trumped up by Professor Pearson is that Stonehenge was a place for the dead.
Wherever did Professor Pearson get this idea from? Did he get it from another professor, one of the members of the Time Team perhaps, or did it come from a learned member of the Open University? Or did he take the kind of vote that archaeologists call `A consensus of opinion'? NO; it seems that the brains of our most educated aren't good enough, because this latest offering comes from as far away as Madagascar and from a modern-day megalith builder of that island called Ramilsonina. Pearson might just as well have gone to the moon.
It wouldn't be so bad were it not for the fact that Pearson and Ramilsonina's hypothesis was outdated a long time ago. And Pearson knows it.
As head of the `Stonehenge Riverside Project' Pearson has every right to produce a book that tells us everything he and his team have discovered, a team which included archaeologists and students from Manchester, Bournemouth, Sheffield, Bristol, Preston, Birmingham and many more.
The result is that this book is so heavily loaded with Pearson's pet life-to-death theory that no newcomer with a passing interest in Stonehenge - and therefore unable to sift fact from fiction - should read it.
The fact is that archaeologists are so embarrassed by a multitude of past mistakes that several of them have taken to lying, and are therefore well past being worthy of trust. Full of distorted facts, this book should never have been written.
As for corruption - don't just take my word for it; take the words of Mick Aston: "Archaeology in Britain is a shambles from top to bottom... I'm not proud of the Time Team, it hasn't worked. And I'm totally dissatisfied with my time at Bristol University." (Professor Mick Aston on why I had to leave the Time Team. British Archaeology Magazine, March/April 2012.)
By the way, the 7.5 megalithic yard (measured internally) Seahenge, did have 56 above ground posts to represent the moon, but archaeologists saw to it that by counting the posts from ten, they succeeded in making a miscount of one short at 55.
All in all, Pearson's book is a deliberate attempt to scotch a better, more universal theory of Stonehenge - and there is a better one out there - Pearson attempting to close the door on all fresh thought - and he knows it.